GCSE results day

Good luck to all those getting their GCSE results today.  It’s the sort of thing that passes me by these days – it’s been YEARS since I sat GCSEs and A Levels and my children are too small.

However, I remember an old boss of mine (when I was doing the actuarial exams) saying that, when he was an actuarial student, he’d rather despised the older people who never remembered when it was exam time or results day.  And I agree.

Rescuing my lavender

I’d rather let one of my flowerbeds get out of hand.  It had become overrun with creeping buttercup, which had smothered my arctic snow lavender.  I ended up pulling up all / nearly all the buttercup and cutting away all the dead bits of the lavender.

Disastrous flowerbed
Disastrous flowerbed

All the leaves you see are shredded bits of a bush that my husband pruned then ran through the shredder.  Pruning large shrubs is a bit like getting a haircut – LOADS comes off and you can’t see a whole lot that is different.

I am treating the shredded bits like bark woodchips – I have no idea whether this is a good idea or not.  The violas at the sides look terrible – I think I’m going to have to cut those right back and see whether or not they revive.

Spiralised courgettes

I know that everyone in the world has already done spiralised courgettes and, in fact, this is now a staple that I should have been using ages ago.  A bit like stuffed pasta used to be in the nineties.

Spiraliser - I got this at Christmas
Spiraliser – I got this at Christmas

I’ve got a bit concerned that my children don’t eat enough vegetables.  They eat a lot of white pasta, fish fingers and pizza.  And fruit.  And breakfast cereal.  It’s started to irritate me.

One courgette makes a whole bowl of spiralised courgette ribbons.  I then fried it in butter in the wok for three minutes – as mentioned by Esther Walker in her old blog.

If you are a rational, kind person, you will eat the spiralised courgettes (as they are actually quite delicious).  If, however, you are one of my children, you will howl when you see that you have been presented with a small amount of an unfamiliar green food substance.

Frivolous raincoat shopping

I’ve done a ridiculous thing – I’ve bought another raincoat.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with my purple Berghaus one, except that it is the coat of choice for women in their sixties who are Into Walking.  Which was starting to depress me a bit.  Yes, it is practical.  And I will still wear it.  But I wanted something a bit smarter.

The same as my green mac but this time in red
The same as my green mac but this time in red

Seasalt were doing a 20% offer so this was only £88.  So it’s a bargain really.

Apples

All the sunshine has done the apples on my apple tree a lot of good.

Like this one
Like this one

If I were a better gardener, I would thin the apples out so that they grow far bigger.  But I’m not really an avid fruit grower – when it works out well, I am pleased but some years the crop isn’t all that good.  I think I just like the novelty of letting my children eat apples they’ve just picked from the tree.

This branch is a bit crowded
This branch is a bit crowded

A few have fallen to the ground – these I put in the compost bin.  The compost bin has started to get a bit fly-ridden.  Perhaps this is because of the hot weather.  All the internet shopping I’ve done lately has meant a few more ripped up Amazon boxes in there.  There is also a plant growing in there – I’m not sure what it is.

My compost bin is starting to smell like cavaldos
My compost bin is starting to smell like cavaldos
Is this a potato plant?
Is this a potato plant?

My garden in the rain

It rained quite a bit over the weekend so I took a few pictures.  A few of my plants will have welcomed the rain, I should think.

Lavender with a tiny butterfly
Lavender with a tiny butterfly
I think this may be the biggest slug EVER - and it's on my majoram
I think this may be the biggest slug EVER – and it’s on my majoram
Berries on the guelder rose - looks rather Autumnal in the rain
Berries on the guelder rose – looks rather Autumnal in the rain
Cotoneaster is a plant that people tend to ignore - but these berries are going to look super in a few weeks
Cotoneaster is a plant that people tend to ignore – but these berries are going to look super in a few weeks